Local News

Winter Fest is back - bigger and better

SEBRING - A 12-foot snow slide is one of the new attractions at this year's Winter Fest, Highlands County's annual homage to fun in the snow - all for a good cause.

This is the ninth year Big Brothers and Big Sisters of the Sun Coast is putting on the event, set from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at the Sebring International Raceway.

There also will be a pile of "real snow," organizers promise, along with laser tag, 10 inflatables including a rock wall and a two-man jumper, carnival games, video games by GameOn, and hamster water balls.

Admission is $5 a person and parking is free. Kids 3 and under enter free.

Several vendors will serve food, local singers will provide entertainment, and visitors can mingle with local K-9 units and first responders along with Toby's clowns.

Big Brothers and Big Sisters Community Resource Director Kiko Vasquez said Winter Fest, which started off as Snowfest, is the group's biggest fundraiser.

They match kids in Highlands and Hardee counties with mentors. The money raised at the event goes toward the mentoring program, Vasquez said.

Mentors are serving more than 100 children in the two counties, Vasquez said, but around 70 are on a waiting list to be matched.

He encouraged everyone to attend and support the cause.

"It should be great weather," he said. "Every year I try to make it bigger. We just want people to come out and support it."